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  • Reported Speech

Reported Speech - Definition, Rules and Usage with Examples

Reported speech or indirect speech is the form of speech used to convey what was said by someone at some point of time. This article will help you with all that you need to know about reported speech, its meaning, definition, how and when to use them along with examples. Furthermore, try out the practice questions given to check how far you have understood the topic.

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Table of Contents

Definition of reported speech, rules to be followed when using reported speech, table 1 – change of pronouns, table 2 – change of adverbs of place and adverbs of time, table 3 – change of tense, table 4 – change of modal verbs, tips to practise reported speech, examples of reported speech, check your understanding of reported speech, frequently asked questions on reported speech in english, what is reported speech.

Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message.

Now, take a look at the following dictionary definitions for a clearer idea of what it is.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

Reported speech is a little different from direct speech . As it has been discussed already, reported speech is used to tell what someone said and does not use the exact words of the speaker. Take a look at the following rules so that you can make use of reported speech effectively.

  • The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you need not use any quotation marks as you are not using the exact words of the speaker.
  • You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech.
  • You can use verbs like said, asked, requested, ordered, complained, exclaimed, screamed, told, etc. If you are just reporting a declarative sentence , you can use verbs like told, said, etc. followed by ‘that’ and end the sentence with a full stop . When you are reporting interrogative sentences, you can use the verbs – enquired, inquired, asked, etc. and remove the question mark . In case you are reporting imperative sentences , you can use verbs like requested, commanded, pleaded, ordered, etc. If you are reporting exclamatory sentences , you can use the verb exclaimed and remove the exclamation mark . Remember that the structure of the sentences also changes accordingly.
  • Furthermore, keep in mind that the sentence structure , tense , pronouns , modal verbs , some specific adverbs of place and adverbs of time change when a sentence is transformed into indirect/reported speech.

Transforming Direct Speech into Reported Speech

As discussed earlier, when transforming a sentence from direct speech into reported speech, you will have to change the pronouns, tense and adverbs of time and place used by the speaker. Let us look at the following tables to see how they work.

Here are some tips you can follow to become a pro in using reported speech.

  • Select a play, a drama or a short story with dialogues and try transforming the sentences in direct speech into reported speech.
  • Write about an incident or speak about a day in your life using reported speech.
  • Develop a story by following prompts or on your own using reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written. Check them out.

  • Santana said that she would be auditioning for the lead role in Funny Girl.
  • Blaine requested us to help him with the algebraic equations.
  • Karishma asked me if I knew where her car keys were.
  • The judges announced that the Warblers were the winners of the annual acapella competition.
  • Binsha assured that she would reach Bangalore by 8 p.m.
  • Kumar said that he had gone to the doctor the previous day.
  • Lakshmi asked Teena if she would accompany her to the railway station.
  • Jibin told me that he would help me out after lunch.
  • The police ordered everyone to leave from the bus stop immediately.
  • Rahul said that he was drawing a caricature.

Transform the following sentences into reported speech by making the necessary changes.

1. Rachel said, “I have an interview tomorrow.”

2. Mahesh said, “What is he doing?”

3. Sherly said, “My daughter is playing the lead role in the skit.”

4. Dinesh said, “It is a wonderful movie!”

5. Suresh said, “My son is getting married next month.”

6. Preetha said, “Can you please help me with the invitations?”

7. Anna said, “I look forward to meeting you.”

8. The teacher said, “Make sure you complete the homework before tomorrow.”

9. Sylvester said, “I am not going to cry anymore.”

10. Jade said, “My sister is moving to Los Angeles.”

Now, find out if you have answered all of them correctly.

1. Rachel said that she had an interview the next day.

2. Mahesh asked what he was doing.

3. Sherly said that her daughter was playing the lead role in the skit.

4. Dinesh exclaimed that it was a wonderful movie.

5. Suresh said that his son was getting married the following month.

6. Preetha asked if I could help her with the invitations.

7. Anna said that she looked forward to meeting me.

8. The teacher told us to make sure we completed the homework before the next day.

9. Sylvester said that he was not going to cry anymore.

10. Jade said that his sister was moving to Los Angeles.

What is reported speech?

What is the definition of reported speech.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

What is the formula of reported speech?

You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech. Subject said that (report whatever the speaker said)

Give some examples of reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written.

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Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

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Advanced Grammar Course

What is reported speech?

“Reported speech” is when we talk about what somebody else said – for example:

  • Direct Speech: “I’ve been to London three times.”
  • Reported Speech: She said she’d been to London three times.

There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don’t worry, I’ll explain them and we’ll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts – we’ll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we’ll learn about some exceptions to the rules, and finally we’ll cover reported questions, requests, and commands.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

So much of English grammar – like this topic, reported speech – can be confusing, hard to understand, and even harder to use correctly. I can help you learn grammar easily and use it confidently inside my Advanced English Grammar Course.

In this course, I will make even the most difficult parts of English grammar clear to you – and there are lots of opportunities for you to practice!

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Backshift of Verb Tenses in Reported Speech

When we use reported speech, we often change the verb tense backwards in time. This can be called “backshift.”

Here are some examples in different verb tenses:

Reported Speech (Part 1) Quiz

Exceptions to backshift in reported speech.

Now that you know some of the reported speech rules about backshift, let’s learn some exceptions.

There are two situations in which we do NOT need to change the verb tense.

No backshift needed when the situation is still true

For example, if someone says “I have three children” (direct speech) then we would say “He said he has three children” because the situation continues to be true.

If I tell you “I live in the United States” (direct speech) then you could tell someone else “She said she lives in the United States” (that’s reported speech) because it is still true.

When the situation is still true, then we don’t need to backshift the verb.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

He said he HAS three children

But when the situation is NOT still true, then we DO need to backshift the verb.

Imagine your friend says, “I have a headache.”

  • If you immediately go and talk to another friend, you could say, “She said she has a headache,” because the situation is still true
  • If you’re talking about that conversation a month after it happened, then you would say, “She said she had a headache,” because it’s no longer true.

No backshift needed when the situation is still in the future

We also don’t need to backshift to the verb when somebody said something about the future, and the event is still in the future.

Here’s an example:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Friday .”
  • “She said she ‘ll call me on Friday”, because Friday is still in the future from now.
  • It is also possible to say, “She said she ‘d (she would) call me on Friday.”
  • Both of them are correct, so the backshift in this case is optional.

Let’s look at a different situation:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Tuesday .”
  • “She said she ‘d  call me on Tuesday.” I must backshift because the event is NOT still in the future.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Review: Reported Speech, Backshift, & Exceptions

Quick review:

  • Normally in reported speech we backshift the verb, we put it in a verb tense that’s a little bit further in the past.
  • when the situation is still true
  • when the situation is still in the future

Reported Requests, Orders, and Questions

Those were the rules for reported statements, just regular sentences.

What about reported speech for questions, requests, and orders?

For reported requests, we use “asked (someone) to do something”:

  • “Please make a copy of this report.” (direct speech)
  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. (reported speech)

For reported orders, we use “told (someone) to do something:”

  • “Go to the bank.” (direct speech)
  • “He told me to go to the bank.” (reported speech)

The main verb stays in the infinitive with “to”:

  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. She asked me  make  a copy of the report.
  • He told me to go to the bank. He told me  go  to the bank.

For yes/no questions, we use “asked if” and “wanted to know if” in reported speech.

  • “Are you coming to the party?” (direct)
  • He asked if I was coming to the party. (reported)
  • “Did you turn off the TV?” (direct)
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.” (reported)

The main verb changes and back shifts according to the rules and exceptions we learned earlier.

Notice that we don’t use do/does/did in the reported question:

  • She wanted to know did I turn off the TV.
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.

For other questions that are not yes/no questions, we use asked/wanted to know (without “if”):

  • “When was the company founded?” (direct)
  • She asked when the company was founded.” (reported)
  • “What kind of car do you drive?” (direct)
  • He wanted to know what kind of car I drive. (reported)

Again, notice that we don’t use do/does/did in reported questions:

  • “Where does he work?”
  • She wanted to know  where does he work.
  • She wanted to know where he works.

Also, in questions with the verb “to be,” the word order changes in the reported question:

  • “Where were you born?” ([to be] + subject)
  • He asked where I was born. (subject + [to be])
  • He asked where was I born.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Reported Speech (Part 2) Quiz

Learn more about reported speech:

  • Reported speech: Perfect English Grammar
  • Reported speech: BJYU’s

If you want to take your English grammar to the next level, then my Advanced English Grammar Course is for you! It will help you master the details of the English language, with clear explanations of essential grammar topics, and lots of practice. I hope to see you inside!

I’ve got one last little exercise for you, and that is to write sentences using reported speech. Think about a conversation you’ve had in the past, and write about it – let’s see you put this into practice right away.

Master the details of English grammar:

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

More Espresso English Lessons:

About the author.

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Shayna Oliveira

Shayna Oliveira is the founder of Espresso English, where you can improve your English fast - even if you don’t have much time to study. Millions of students are learning English from her clear, friendly, and practical lessons! Shayna is a CELTA-certified teacher with 10+ years of experience helping English learners become more fluent in her English courses.

Reported Speech (Indirect Speech)

Exercises on reported speech.

If we report what another person has said, we usually do not use the speaker’s exact words (direct speech), but reported (indirect) speech. Therefore, you need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request.

When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:

  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)
  • place and time expressions
  • tenses (backshift)

→ more on statements in reported speech

When transforming questions, check whether you have to change:

Also note that you have to:

  • transform the question into an indirect question
  • use the interrogative or if / whether

→ more on questions in reported speech

→ more on requests in reported speech

Additional Information and Exeptions

Apart from the above mentioned basic rules, there are further aspects that you should keep in mind, for example:

  • main clauses connected with and / but
  • tense of the introductory clause
  • reported speech for difficult tenses
  • exeptions for backshift
  • requests with must , should , ought to and let’s

→ more on additional information and exeptions in reported speech

Statements in Reported Speech

  • no backshift – change of pronouns
  • no backshift – change of pronouns and places
  • with backshift
  • with backshift and change of place and time expressions

Questions in Reported Speech

Requests in reported speech.

  • Exercise 1 – requests (positive)
  • Exercise 2 – requests (negative)
  • Exercise 3 – requests (mixed)

Mixed Exercises on Reported Speech

  • Exercise on reported speech with and without backshift

Grammar in Texts

  • „ The Canterville Ghost “ (highlight direct speech and reported speech)

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What is Reported Speech and how to use it? with Examples

Reported speech and indirect speech are two terms that refer to the same concept, which is the act of expressing what someone else has said. Reported speech is different from direct speech because it does not use the speaker's exact words. Instead, the reporting verb is used to introduce the reported speech, and the tense and pronouns are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. There are two main types of reported speech: statements and questions. 1. Reported Statements: In reported statements, the reporting verb is usually "said." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and any pronouns referring to the speaker or listener are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. For example, "I am going to the store," becomes "He said that he was going to the store." 2. Reported Questions: In reported questions, the reporting verb is usually "asked." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and the word order changes from a question to a statement. For example, "What time is it?" becomes "She asked what time it was." It's important to note that the tense shift in reported speech depends on the context and the time of the reported speech. Here are a few more examples: ●  Direct speech: "I will call you later." Reported speech: He said that he would call me later. ●  Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. ●  Direct speech: "I love pizza." Reported speech: They said that they loved pizza.

When do we use reported speech?

Reported speech is used to report what someone else has said, thought, or written. It is often used in situations where you want to relate what someone else has said without quoting them directly. Reported speech can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in news reports, academic writing, and everyday conversation. Some common situations where reported speech is used include: News reports: Journalists often use reported speech to quote what someone said in an interview or press conference. Business and professional communication: In professional settings, reported speech can be used to summarize what was discussed in a meeting or to report feedback from a customer. Conversational English: In everyday conversations, reported speech is used to relate what someone else said. For example, "She told me that she was running late." Narration: In written narratives or storytelling, reported speech can be used to convey what a character said or thought.

How to make reported speech?

1. Change the pronouns and adverbs of time and place: In reported speech, you need to change the pronouns, adverbs of time and place to reflect the new speaker or point of view. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the store now," she said. Reported speech: She said she was going to the store then. In this example, the pronoun "I" is changed to "she" and the adverb "now" is changed to "then." 2. Change the tense: In reported speech, you usually need to change the tense of the verb to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I will meet you at the park tomorrow," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. In this example, the reporting verb "asked" is changed to "said" and "did" is changed to "had." Overall, when making reported speech, it's important to pay attention to the verb tense and the changes in pronouns, adverbs, and reporting verbs to convey the original speaker's message accurately.

How do I change the pronouns and adverbs in reported speech?

1. Changing Pronouns: In reported speech, the pronouns in the original statement must be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. Generally, the first person pronouns (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) are changed according to the subject of the reporting verb, while the second and third person pronouns (you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, they, them, their, theirs) are changed according to the object of the reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I love chocolate." Reported speech: She said she loved chocolate. Direct speech: "You should study harder." Reported speech: He advised me to study harder. Direct speech: "She is reading a book." Reported speech: They noticed that she was reading a book. 2. Changing Adverbs: In reported speech, the adverbs and adverbial phrases that indicate time or place may need to be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech: She said she was going to the cinema that night. Direct speech: "He is here." Reported speech: She said he was there. Note that the adverb "now" usually changes to "then" or is omitted altogether in reported speech, depending on the context. It's important to keep in mind that the changes made to pronouns and adverbs in reported speech depend on the context and the perspective of the new speaker. With practice, you can become more comfortable with making these changes in reported speech.

How do I change the tense in reported speech?

In reported speech, the tense of the reported verb usually changes to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here are some guidelines on how to change the tense in reported speech: Present simple in direct speech changes to past simple in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I like pizza." Reported speech: She said she liked pizza. Present continuous in direct speech changes to past continuous in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I am studying for my exam." Reported speech: He said he was studying for his exam. Present perfect in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I have finished my work." Reported speech: She said she had finished her work. Past simple in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I visited my grandparents last weekend." Reported speech: She said she had visited her grandparents the previous weekend. Will in direct speech changes to would in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I will help you with your project." Reported speech: He said he would help me with my project. Can in direct speech changes to could in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I can speak French." Reported speech: She said she could speak French. Remember that the tense changes in reported speech depend on the tense of the verb in the direct speech, and the tense you use in reported speech should match the time frame of the new speaker's perspective. With practice, you can become more comfortable with changing the tense in reported speech.

Do I always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech?

No, you do not always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech. However, using a reporting verb can help to clarify who is speaking and add more context to the reported speech. In some cases, the reported speech can be introduced by phrases such as "I heard that" or "It seems that" without using a reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She said she was going to the cinema tonight. Reported speech without a reporting verb: It seems that she's going to the cinema tonight. However, it's important to note that using a reporting verb can help to make the reported speech more formal and accurate. When using reported speech in academic writing or journalism, it's generally recommended to use a reporting verb to make the reporting more clear and credible. Some common reporting verbs include say, tell, explain, ask, suggest, and advise. For example: Direct speech: "I think we should invest in renewable energy." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She suggested that they invest in renewable energy. Overall, while using a reporting verb is not always required, it can be helpful to make the reported speech more clear and accurate.

How to use reported speech to report questions and commands?

1. Reporting Questions: When reporting questions, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here's an example: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Note that the question mark is not used in reported speech. 2. Reporting Commands: When reporting commands, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "ordered" or "told" followed by the person, to + infinitive, and any additional information. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Clean your room!" Reported speech: She ordered me to clean my room. Note that the exclamation mark is not used in reported speech. In both cases, the tense of the reported verb should be changed accordingly. For example, present simple changes to past simple, and future changes to conditional. Here are some examples: Direct speech: "Will you go to the party with me?" Reported speech: She asked if I would go to the party with her. Direct speech: "Please bring me a glass of water." Reported speech: She requested that I bring her a glass of water. Remember that when using reported speech to report questions and commands, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately.

How to make questions in reported speech?

To make questions in reported speech, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here are the steps to make questions in reported speech: Identify the reporting verb: The first step is to identify the reporting verb in the sentence. Common reporting verbs used to report questions include "asked," "inquired," "wondered," and "wanted to know." Change the tense and pronouns: Next, you need to change the tense and pronouns in the sentence to reflect the shift from direct to reported speech. The tense of the verb is usually shifted back one tense (e.g. from present simple to past simple) in reported speech. The pronouns should also be changed as necessary to reflect the shift in perspective from the original speaker to the reporting speaker. Use an appropriate question word: If the original question contained a question word (e.g. who, what, where, when, why, how), you should use the same question word in the reported question. If the original question did not contain a question word, you can use "if" or "whether" to introduce the reported question. Change the word order: In reported speech, the word order of the question changes from the inverted form to a normal statement form. The subject usually comes before the verb, unless the original question started with a question word. Here are some examples of reported questions: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: He wanted to know if I had finished my homework. Direct speech: "Where are you going?" Reported speech: She wondered where I was going. Remember that when making questions in reported speech, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately. Here you can find more examples of direct and indirect questions

What is the difference between reported speech an indirect speech?

In reported or indirect speech, you are retelling or reporting what someone said using your own words. The tense of the reported speech is usually shifted back one tense from the tense used in the original statement. For example, if someone said, "I am going to the store," in reported speech you would say, "He/she said that he/she was going to the store." The main difference between reported speech and indirect speech is that reported speech usually refers to spoken language, while indirect speech can refer to both spoken and written language. Additionally, indirect speech is a broader term that includes reported speech as well as other ways of expressing what someone else has said, such as paraphrasing or summarizing.

Examples of direct speech to reported

1. Direct speech: "I am hungry," she said. Reported speech: She said she was hungry. 2. Direct speech: "Can you pass the salt, please?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked her to pass the salt. 3. Direct speech: "I will meet you at the cinema," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet her at the cinema. 4. Direct speech: "I have been working on this project for hours," she said. Reported speech: She said she had been working on the project for hours. 5. Direct speech: "What time does the train leave?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked what time the train left. 6. Direct speech: "I love playing the piano," she said. Reported speech: She said she loved playing the piano. 7. Direct speech: "I am going to the grocery store," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to the grocery store. 8. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" the teacher asked. Reported speech: The teacher asked if he had finished his homework. 9. Direct speech: "I want to go to the beach," she said. Reported speech: She said she wanted to go to the beach. 10. Direct speech: "Do you need help with that?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked if she needed help with that. 11. Direct speech: "I can't come to the party," he said. Reported speech: He said he couldn't come to the party. 12. Direct speech: "Please don't leave me," she said. Reported speech: She begged him not to leave her. 13. Direct speech: "I have never been to London before," he said. Reported speech: He said he had never been to London before. 14. Direct speech: "Where did you put my phone?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked where she had put her phone. 15. Direct speech: "I'm sorry for being late," he said. Reported speech: He apologized for being late. 16. Direct speech: "I need some help with this math problem," she said. Reported speech: She said she needed some help with the math problem. 17. Direct speech: "I am going to study abroad next year," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to study abroad the following year. 18. Direct speech: "Can you give me a ride to the airport?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked him to give her a ride to the airport. 19. Direct speech: "I don't know how to fix this," he said. Reported speech: He said he didn't know how to fix it. 20. Direct speech: "I hate it when it rains," she said. Reported speech: She said she hated it when it rained.

What is Direct and Indirect Speech?

Direct and indirect speech are two different ways of reporting spoken or written language. Let's delve into the details and provide some examples. Click here to read more

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He Said, She Said: Mastering Reported Speech in English (Both Direct and Indirect)

“Reported speech” might sound fancy, but it isn’t that complicated.

It’s just how you talk about what someone said.

Luckily, it’s pretty simple to learn the basics in English, beginning with the two types of reported speech: direct (reporting the exact words someone said) and indirect (reporting what someone said without using their exact words ).

Read this post to learn how to report speech, with tips and tricks for each, plenty of examples and a resources section that tells you about real world resources you can use to practice reporting speech.

How to Report Direct Speech

How to report indirect speech, reporting questions in indirect speech, verb tenses in indirect reported speech, simple present, present continuous, present perfect, present perfect continuous, simple past, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous, simple future, future continuous, future perfect, future perfect continuous, authentic resources for practicing reported speech, novels and short stories, native english videos, celebrity profiles.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Direct speech refers to the exact words that a person says. You can “report” direct speech in a few different ways.

To see how this works, let’s pretend that I (Elisabeth) told some people that I liked green onions.

Here are some different ways that those people could explain what I said:

Direct speech: “I like green onions,” Elisabeth said.

Direct speech: “I like green onions,” she told me. — In this sentence, we replace my name (Elisabeth) with the pronoun she.

In all of these examples, the part that was said is between quotation marks and is followed by a noun (“she” or “Elisabeth”) and a verb. Each of these verbs (“to say,” “to tell [someone],” “to explain”) are ways to describe someone talking. You can use any verb that refers to speech in this way.

You can also put the noun and verb before what was said.

Direct speech: Elisabeth said, “I like spaghetti.”

The example above would be much more likely to be said out loud than the first set of examples.

Here’s a conversation that might happen between two people:

1: Did you ask her if she liked coffee?

2: Yeah, I asked her.

1: What did she say?

2. She said, “Yeah, I like coffee.” ( Direct speech )

Usually, reporting of direct speech is something you see in writing. It doesn’t happen as often when people are talking to each other. 

Direct reported speech often happens in the past. However, there are all kinds of stories, including journalism pieces, profiles and fiction, where you might see speech reported in the present as well.

This is sometimes done when the author of the piece wants you to feel that you’re experiencing events in the present moment.

For example, a profile of Kristen Stewart in Vanity Fair  has a funny moment that describes how the actress isn’t a very good swimmer:

Direct speech: “I don’t want to enter the water, ever,” she says. “If everyone’s going in the ocean, I’m like, no.”

Here, the speech is reported as though it’s in the present tense (“she says”) instead of in the past (“she said”).

In writing of all kinds, direct reported speech is often split into two or more parts, as it is above.

Here’s an example from Lewis Carroll’s “ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ,” where the speech is even more split up:

Direct speech: “I won’t indeed!” said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of conversation. “Are you—are you fond—of—of dogs?” The Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on eagerly: “There is such a nice little dog near our house I should like to show you!”

Reporting indirect speech is what happens when you explain what someone said without using their exact words.

Let’s start with an example of direct reported speech like those used above.

Direct speech: Elisabeth said, “I like coffee.”

As indirect reported speech, it looks like this:

Indirect speech: Elisabeth said she liked coffee.

You can see that the subject (“I”) has been changed to “she,” to show who is being spoken about. If I’m reporting the direct speech of someone else, and this person says “I,” I’d repeat their sentence exactly as they said it. If I’m reporting this person’s speech indirectly to someone else, however, I’d speak about them in the third person—using “she,” “he” or “they.”

You may also notice that the tense changes here: If “I like coffee” is what she said, this can become “She liked coffee” in indirect speech.

However, you might just as often hear someone say something like, “She said she likes coffee.” Since people’s likes and preferences tend to change over time and not right away, it makes sense to keep them in the present tense.

Indirect speech often uses the word “that” before what was said:

Indirect speech: She said that she liked coffee.

There’s no real difference between “She said she liked coffee” and “She said that she liked coffee.” However, using “that” can help make the different parts of the sentence clearer.

Let’s look at a few other examples:

Indirect speech: I said I was going outside today.

Indirect speech: They told me that they wanted to order pizza.

Indirect speech: He mentioned it was raining.

Indirect speech: She said that her father was coming over for dinner.

You can see an example of reporting indirect speech in the funny video “ Cell Phone Crashing .” In this video, a traveler in an airport sits down next to another traveler talking on his cell phone. The first traveler pretends to be talking to someone on his phone, but he appears to be responding to the second traveler’s conversation, which leads to this exchange:

Woman: “Are you answering what I’m saying?”

Man “No, no… I’m on the phone with somebody, sorry. I don’t mean to be rude.” (Direct speech)

Woman: “What was that?”

Man: “I just said I was on the phone with somebody.” (Indirect speech)

When reporting questions in indirect speech, you can use words like “whether” or “if” with verbs that show questioning, such as “to ask” or “to wonder.”

Direct speech: She asked, “Is that a new restaurant?”

Indirect speech: She asked if that was a new restaurant. 

In any case where you’re reporting a question, you can say that someone was “wondering” or “wanted to know” something. Notice that these verbs don’t directly show that someone asked a question. They don’t describe an action that happened at a single point in time. But you can usually assume that someone was wondering or wanted to know what they asked.

Indirect speech: She was wondering if that was a new restaurant.

Indirect speech: She wanted to know whether that was a new restaurant.

It can be tricky to know how to use tenses when reporting indirect speech. Let’s break it down, tense by tense.

Sometimes, indirect speech “ backshifts ,” or moves one tense further back into the past. We already saw this in the example from above:

Direct speech: She said, “I like coffee.”

Indirect speech: She said she liked coffee.

Also as mentioned above, backshifting doesn’t always happen. This might seem confusing, but it isn’t that difficult to understand once you start using reported speech regularly.

What tense you use in indirect reported speech often just depends on when what you’re reporting happened or was true.

Let’s look at some examples of how direct speech in certain tenses commonly changes (or doesn’t) when it’s reported as indirect speech.

To learn about all the English tenses (or for a quick review), check out this post .

Direct speech: I said, “I play video games.”

Indirect speech: I said that I played video games (simple past) or I said that I play video games  (simple present).

Backshifting into the past or staying in the present here can change the meaning slightly. If you use the first example, it’s unclear whether or not you still play video games; all we know is that you said you played them in the past.

If you use the second example, though, you probably still play video games (unless you were lying for some reason).

However, the difference in meaning is so small, you can use either one and you won’t have a problem.

Direct speech: I said, “I’m playing video games.”

Indirect speech: I said that I was playing video games (past continuous) or I said that I’m playing video games (present continuous).

In this case, you’d likely use the first example if you were telling a story about something that happened in the past.

You could use the second example to repeat or stress what you just said. For example:

Hey, want to go for a walk?

Direct speech: No, I’m playing video games.

But it’s such a nice day!

Indirect speech: I said that I’m playing video games!

Direct speech: Marie said, “I have read that book.”

Indirect speech: Marie said that she had read that book (past perfect) or Marie said that she has read that book (present perfect).

The past perfect is used a lot in writing and other kinds of narration. This is because it helps point out an exact moment in time when something was true.

The past perfect isn’t quite as useful in conversation, where people are usually more interested in what’s true now. So, in a lot of cases, people would use the second example above when speaking.

Direct speech: She said, “I have been watching that show.”

Indirect speech: She said that she had been watching that show (past perfect continuous) or She said that she has been watching that show (present perfect continuous).

These examples are similar to the others above. You could use the first example whether or not this person was still watching the show, but if you used the second example, it’d probably seem like you either knew or guessed that she was still watching it.

Direct speech: You told me, “I charged my phone.”

Indirect speech: You told me that you had charged your phone (past perfect) or You told me that you charged your phone (simple past).

Here, most people would probably just use the second example, because it’s simpler, and gets across the same meaning.

Direct speech: You told me, “I was charging my phone.”

Indirect speech: You told me that you had been charging your phone (past perfect continuous) or You told me that you were charging your phone (past continuous).

Here, the difference is between whether you had been charging your phone before or were charging your phone at the time. However, a lot of people would still use the second example in either situation.

Direct speech: They explained, “We had bathed the cat on Wednesday.”

Indirect speech: They explained that they had bathed the cat on Wednesday. (past perfect)

Once we start reporting the past perfect tenses, we don’t backshift because there are no tenses to backshift to.

So in this case, it’s simple. The tense stays exactly as is. However, many people might simplify even more and use the simple past, saying, “They explained that they bathed the cat on Wednesday.”

Direct speech: They said, “The cat had been going outside and getting dirty for a long time!”

Indirect speech: They said that the cat had been going outside and getting dirty for a long time. (past perfect continuous)

Again, we don’t shift the tense back here; we leave it like it is. And again, a lot of people would report this speech as, “They said the cat was going outside and getting dirty for a long time.” It’s just a simpler way to say almost the same thing.

Direct speech: I told you, “I will be here no matter what.”

Indirect speech: I told you that I would be here no matter what. (present conditional)

At this point, we don’t just have to think about tenses, but grammatical mood, too. However, the idea is still pretty simple. We use the conditional (with “would”) to show that at the time the words were spoken, the future was uncertain.

In this case, you could also say, “I told you that I will be here no matter what,” but only if you “being here” is still something that you expect to happen in the future.

What matters here is what’s intended. Since this example shows a person reporting their own speech, it’s more likely that they’d want to stress the truth of their own intention, and so they might be more likely to use “will” than “would.”

But if you were reporting someone else’s words, you might be more likely to say something like, “She told me that she would be here no matter what.”

Direct speech: I said, “I’ll be waiting for your call.”

Indirect speech: I said that I would be waiting for your call. (conditional continuous)

These are similar to the above examples, but apply to a continuous or ongoing action.

Direct speech: She said, “I will have learned a lot about myself.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would have learned a lot about herself (conditional perfect) or She said that she will have learned a lot about herself (future perfect).

In this case, using the conditional (as in the first example) suggests that maybe a certain event didn’t happen, or something didn’t turn out as expected.

However, that might not always be the case, especially if this was a sentence that was written in an article or a work of fiction. The second example, however, suggests that the future that’s being talked about still hasn’t happened yet.

Direct speech: She said, “By next Tuesday, I will have been staying inside every day for the past month.”

Indirect speech: She said that by next Tuesday, she would have been staying inside every day for the past month (perfect continuous conditional) or She said that by next Tuesday, she will have been staying inside every day for the past month (past perfect continuous).

Again, in this case, the first example might suggest that the event didn’t happen. Maybe the person didn’t stay inside until next Tuesday! However, this could also just be a way of explaining that at the time she said this in the past, it was uncertain whether she really would stay inside for as long as she thought.

The second example, on the other hand, would only be used if next Tuesday hadn’t happened yet.

Let’s take a look at where you can find resources for practicing reporting speech in the real world.

One of the most common uses for reported speech is in fiction. You’ll find plenty of reported speech in novels and short stories . Look for books that have long sections of text with dialogue marked by quotation marks (“…”). Once you understand the different kinds of reported speech, you can look for it in your reading and use it in your own writing.

Writing your own stories is a great way to get even better at understanding reported speech.

One of the best ways to practice any aspect of English is to watch native English videos. By watching English speakers use the language, you can understand how reported speech is used in real world situations.

If you struggle to understand English videos, you can use a program like FluentU to help you through subtitles and other learning tools.

Celebrity profiles, which you can find in print magazines and online, can help you find and practice reported speech, too. Celebrity profiles are stories that focus on a famous person. They often include some kind of interview. The writer will usually spend some time describing the person and then mention things that they say; this is when they use reported speech.

Because many of these profiles are written in the present tense, they can help you get used to the basics of reported speech without having to worry too much about different verb tenses.

While the above may seem really complicated, it isn’t that difficult to start using reported speech.

Mastering it may be a little difficult, but the truth is that many, many people who speak English as a first language struggle with it, too!

Reported speech is flexible, and even if you make mistakes, there’s a good chance that no one will notice.

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  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech

Daisy has just had an interview for a summer job. 

Instructions

As you watch the video, look at the examples of reported speech. They are in  red  in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, reported speech correctly.

Sophie:  Mmm, it’s so nice to be chilling out at home after all that running around.

Ollie: Oh, yeah, travelling to glamorous places for a living must be such a drag!

Ollie: Mum, you can be so childish sometimes. Hey, I wonder how Daisy’s getting on in her job interview.

Sophie: Oh, yes, she said she was having it at four o’clock, so it’ll have finished by now. That’ll be her ... yes. Hi, love. How did it go?

Daisy: Well, good I think, but I don’t really know. They said they’d phone later and let me know.

Sophie: What kind of thing did they ask you?

Daisy: They asked if I had any experience with people, so I told them about helping at the school fair and visiting old people at the home, that sort of stuff. But I think they meant work experience.

Sophie: I’m sure what you said was impressive. They can’t expect you to have had much work experience at your age.

Daisy:  And then they asked me what acting I had done, so I told them that I’d had a main part in the school play, and I showed them a bit of the video, so that was cool.

Sophie:  Great!

Daisy: Oh, and they also asked if I spoke any foreign languages.

Sophie: Languages?

Daisy: Yeah, because I might have to talk to tourists, you know.

Sophie: Oh, right, of course.

Daisy: So that was it really. They showed me the costume I’ll be wearing if I get the job. Sending it over ...

Ollie: Hey, sis, I heard that Brad Pitt started out as a giant chicken too! This could be your big break!

Daisy: Ha, ha, very funny.

Sophie: Take no notice, darling. I’m sure you’ll be a marvellous chicken.

We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what someone said. We usually use a reporting verb (e.g. say, tell, ask, etc.) and then change the tense of what was actually said in direct speech.

So, direct speech is what someone actually says? Like 'I want to know about reported speech'?

Yes, and you report it with a reporting verb.

He said he wanted to know about reported speech.

I said, I want and you changed it to he wanted .

Exactly. Verbs in the present simple change to the past simple; the present continuous changes to the past continuous; the present perfect changes to the past perfect; can changes to could ; will changes to would ; etc.

She said she was having the interview at four o’clock. (Direct speech: ' I’m having the interview at four o’clock.') They said they’d phone later and let me know. (Direct speech: ' We’ll phone later and let you know.')

OK, in that last example, you changed you to me too.

Yes, apart from changing the tense of the verb, you also have to think about changing other things, like pronouns and adverbs of time and place.

'We went yesterday.'  > She said they had been the day before. 'I’ll come tomorrow.' >  He said he’d come the next day.

I see, but what if you’re reporting something on the same day, like 'We went yesterday'?

Well, then you would leave the time reference as 'yesterday'. You have to use your common sense. For example, if someone is saying something which is true now or always, you wouldn’t change the tense.

'Dogs can’t eat chocolate.' > She said that dogs can’t eat chocolate. 'My hair grows really slowly.' >  He told me that his hair grows really slowly.

What about reporting questions?

We often use ask + if/whether , then change the tenses as with statements. In reported questions we don’t use question forms after the reporting verb.

'Do you have any experience working with people?' They asked if I had any experience working with people. 'What acting have you done?' They asked me what acting I had done .

Is there anything else I need to know about reported speech?

One thing that sometimes causes problems is imperative sentences.

You mean like 'Sit down, please' or 'Don’t go!'?

Exactly. Sentences that start with a verb in direct speech need a to + infinitive in reported speech.

She told him to be good. (Direct speech: 'Be good!') He told them not to forget. (Direct speech: 'Please don’t forget.')

OK. Can I also say 'He asked me to sit down'?

Yes. You could say 'He told me to …' or 'He asked me to …' depending on how it was said.

OK, I see. Are there any more reporting verbs?

Yes, there are lots of other reporting verbs like promise , remind , warn , advise , recommend , encourage which you can choose, depending on the situation. But say , tell and ask are the most common.

Great. I understand! My teacher said reported speech was difficult.

And I told you not to worry!

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Reported Speech

report

If we want to say what somebody has said, we basically have two options:

  • We can use the person's exact words - in quotation marks "..." if we are writing ( direct speech ).
  • We can change the person's words into our own words ( reported speech ).

In this lesson we learn about reported speech , the structure that we use when we report what another person has said, and reported speech rules.

Now we will look at:

  • Reported Statements
  • Time and Place
  • Reported Questions
  • Reported Requests
  • Reported Orders And then you can check your understanding of reported speech with...
  • Reported Speech Quiz

Reported speech is called "indirect speech" by some people. Other people regard reported speech simply as one form of indirect speech. Other forms are, for example:

  • questions-within-questions: Can you tell me if they are expensive?
  • mental processes: He believes that politics is a dirty game.

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Reported speech (indirect speech).

Table of Content

Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) What is reported speech? Direct speech vs reported speech Different types of reported speech A. Reporting statements B. Reporting Questions C. Reporting requests / commands D. Other transformations Main clauses connected with and/but The punctuation rules of the reported speech Can we omit that in the reported speech? List of reporting verbs Conclusion

What is reported speech.

Reported speech is when you tell somebody what you or another person said before. When reporting a speech, some changes are necessary.

For example, the statement:

  • Jane said she was waiting for her mom .

is a reported speech, whereas:

  • Jane said "I'm waiting for my mom."

is a direct speech.

Note: Reported speech is also referred to as indirect speech or indirect discourse .

Reported Speech

Before explaining how to report a discourse, let us first distinguish between direct speech and reported speech .

Direct speech vs reported speech

1. We use direct speech to quote a speaker's exact words. We put their words within quotation marks. We add a reporting verb such as "he said" or "she asked" before or after the quote.

  • He said, "I am happy."

2. Reported speech is a way of reporting what someone said without using quotation marks. We do not necessarily report the speaker's exact words. Some changes are necessary: the time expressions, the tense of the verbs, and the demonstratives.

  • He said that he was happy.

More examples:

Different types of reported speech

When you use reported speech, you either report:

  • Requests / commands
  • Other types

A. Reporting statements

When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:

  • place and time expression

1- Pronouns

In reported speech, you often have to change the pronoun depending on who says what.

She says, “ My dad likes roast chicken.” – She says that her dad likes roast chicken.

  • If the sentence starts in the present, there is no backshift of tenses in reported speech.
  • If the sentence starts in the past, there is often a backshift of tenses in reported speech.

No backshift

Do not change the tense if the introductory clause (i.e., the reporting verb) is in the present tense (e. g. He says ). Note, however, that you might have to change the form of the present tense verb (3rd person singular).

Example: He says, “I write poems.” – He says that he writes English.

You must change the tense if the introductory clause (i.e., the reporting verb) is in the past tense (e. g. He said ).

Example: He said, “I am happy.” – He said that he was happy.

Examples of the main changes in verb tense

3. modal verbs.

The modal verbs could, should, would, might, needn't, ought to, and used to do not normally change.

  • He said: "She might be right." – He said that she might be right.
  • He told her: "You needn't see a doctor." – He told her that she needn't see a doctor.

Other modal verbs such as can, shall, will, must ,and ma y change:

4- Place, demonstratives, and time expressions

Place, demonstratives, and time expressions change if the context of the reported statement (i.e. the location and/or the period of time) is different from that of the direct speech.

In the following table, you will find the different changes of place; demonstratives, and time expressions.

B. Reporting Questions

When transforming questions, check whether you have to change:

  • The pronouns
  • The place and time expressions
  • The tenses (backshift)

Also, note that you have to:

  • transform the question into an indirect question
  • use the question word ( where, when, what, how ) or if / whether

>> EXERCISE ON REPORTING QUESTIONS <<

C. Reporting requests / commands

When transforming requests and commands, check whether you have to change:

  • place and time expressions
  • She said, “Sit down." - She asked me to sit down.
  • She said, "don't be lazy" - She asked me not to be lazy

D. Other transformations

  • Expressions of advice with must , should, and ought are usually reported using advise / urge . Example: "You must read this book." He advised/urged me to read that book.
  • The expression let’s is usually reported using suggest . In this case, there are two possibilities for reported speech: gerund or statement with should . Example : "Let’s go to the cinema." 1. He suggested going to the cinema. 2. He suggested that we should go to the cinema.

Main clauses connected with and/but

If two complete main clauses are connected with ‚and or ‚but , put ‚that after the conjunction.

  • He said, “I saw her but she didn't see me.“ – He said that he had seen her but that she hadn't seen him.“

If the subject is dropped in the second main clause (the conjunction is followed by a verb), do not use ‚that‘ .

  • She said, “I am a nurse and work in a hospital.“ – He said that she was a nurse and worked in a hospital.“

The punctuation rules of the reported speech

Direct speech:

We normally add a comma between the reporting verbs (e.g., she/he said, reported, he replied, etc.) and the reported clause in direct speech. The original speaker's words are put between inverted commas, either single ('...') or double ("...").

  • She said, “I wasn't ready for the competition".

Note that we insert the comma within the inverted commas if the reported clause comes first:

  • “I wasn't ready for the competition,” she said.

Indirect speech:

In indirect speech, we don’t put a comma between the reporting verb and the reported clause and we omit the inverted quotes.

  • She said that she hadn't been ready for the competition.

In reported questions and exclamations, we remove the question mark and the exclamation mark.

  • She asked him why he looked sad?
  • She asked him why he looked sad.

Can we omit that in the reported speech?

Yes, we can omit that after reporting verbs such as he said , he replied , she suggested , etc.

  • He said that he could do it. - He said he could do it.
  • She replied that she was fed up with his misbehavior. - She replied she was fed up with his misbehavior.

List of reporting verbs

Reported speech requires a reporting verb such as "he said", she "replied", etc.

Here is a list of some common reporting verbs:

  • Cry (meaning shout)
  • Demonstrate
  • Hypothesize
  • Posit the view that
  • Question the view that
  • Want to know

In reported speech, we put the words of a speaker in a subordinate clause introduced by a reporting verb such as - ' he said ' and ' she asked '- with the required person and tense adjustments.

Related pages

  • Reported speech exercise (mixed)
  • Reported speech exercise (questions)
  • Reported speech exercise (requests and commands)
  • Reported speech lesson

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  • Reported Speech

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Reported Speech How does it Work?

Indirect speech or Reported speech is just a way of expressing your intent in questions, statements or other phrases, without essentially quoting them outrightly as the way it is done in indirect speech.

Reported Speech Rules

To understand Reported Speech Grammar and Reported Verbs, you need to first understand reported speech rules and how it works. Here are some types of reported speech:

Reported Statements

Reported speech is used when someone says a sentence, like, "I'm going to the movie tonight". Later, we want to tell a 3rd person what the first person is doing.

It works like this:

We use a reporting verb i.e 'say' or 'tell'. In the present tense, just put in 'he says.

Direct Speech: I like burgers.

Reported Speech: He says (that) he likes burgers.

You don't need to change the tense, but you do need to switch the 'person' from 'I' to 'he’. You also need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.

But, in case the reporting verb is in the past tense, then change the tenses in the reported speech itself.

Reported Questions

Reported questions to go like 

Direct Speech: Where do you reside?

We make the change to reported speech by-

It is similar to reported statements. The tense changes are exact, and we keep the question’s word. But we need to change the grammar of that normal sentence into positive. For eg:

Reported Speech: He asked me where I resided.

The direct speech question is in the present simple tense. We make a present simple question with 'do' or 'does'. For that, I need to take that away. Then change the verb to the past simple. 

Direct Speech: Where is Jolly?

Reported Speech: He asked me where Jolly was.

The direct question is the present simple of 'be'. We change the question form of the present simple of being by changing the position of the subject and the verb. So, change them back before putting the verb into the past simple.

Here Are Some More Examples

Reported Requests

The reported speech goes a long way. What if a person asks you to do something politely or make a request? It’s called a reported request. For example

Direct Speech: Close the door, please / Could you close the door please? / Would you mind closing the door, please?

All these requests mean the same, so we don't need to report every word there when we tell a 3rd person about it. 

We can simply use 'ask me + to + infinitive':

Reported Speech: They asked me to close the door.

Direct Speech: Please be punctual.

Reported Speech: They asked us to be punctual.

Reported Orders

And lastly, how about when someone doesn't ask that politely? This is known as an 'order' in English, which is when someone tells you to do something pretty much directly. This is called a reported order. For example

Direct Speech: Stand up right now!

We make this into a reported speech in the same way as that for a request. Just use 'tell' rather than 'ask':

Reported Speech: She told me to stand up right now.

Time Expressions within the Ambit of Reported Speech

Sometimes when we want to change the direct speech into reported speech, we will have to change the time expressions too. We don't necessarily always have to do that. However, It depends on when we heard the speech in indirect form and when we said the speech in reported form. 

For Example,

It's Sunday. Kiran Ma’am says "I'm leaving today".

If You tell someone on Sunday, You will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving today".

If you tell someone on Tuesday, You will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving yesterday".

If you tell someone on Friday, you will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving on Sunday ".

If you tell someone a month later, you will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving that day".

So, technically there's no easy way to convert. You need to put in real effort and have to think about it when the direct speech is said.

Here's a Table of How Some Conversions can be Made 

now can be converted to then / at that time

today can be converted to yesterday / that day / Tuesday / the 27 th of June

yesterday can be converted to the day before yesterday / the day before / Wednesday / the 5th of December

last night can be converted to the night before, Thursday night

last week can be converted to the week before / the previous week

tomorrow can be converted to today / the next day / the following day / Friday

Now Let us Check our Understanding Through this Table

This is all about reported speech. English grammar is a tricky thing given both the rules and practice. Reading these rules solely will not help you to get a strong grasp of them. You also have to practice reported speech sentences in practical life to know how and when they can be used.

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FAQs on Reported Speech

1. How to convert present tenses to reported speech and give some examples.

There are certain rules to follow while converting sentences to reported speech. We need to manage tenses also.

Usually, the present sentences change to simple past tense.

Ex: I do yoga every morning

She said that she did yoga every morning.

I play cricket a lot

He said that he played cricket a lot 

Usually The present continuous tense changes to the past continuous tense. 

Ex: My friend is watching a movie.

She said that her friend was watching a movie.

We are eating dinner

They said that they were eating dinner.

Usually, the  Present Perfect Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense

Ex: I have been to the USA

She told me that she had been to the USA.

She has finished her task.

She said that she had finished her task.

Usually the Present Perfect Progressive Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense

2. How to convert present tenses to reported speech and give some examples.

Usually the Past Simple Tense changes into the Past Perfect Tense.

Ex: He arrived on Friday

He said that he had arrived on Friday.

My mom enjoyed the stay here

He said that his mom had enjoyed the stay there.

Usually, the Past Progressive Tense changes into the Perfect Continuous Tense

Ex: I was playing the cricket

He said that he had been playing cricket.

My husband was cooking

She said that her husband had been cooking.

Usually, the Past Perfect Tense doesn’t change.

Ex: She had worked hard.

She said that she had worked hard.

And also the Past Perfect Progressive Tense doesn’t change.

3. State the rules for conversion of future tenses into reported speech

There are rules to follow while converting the future tenses to reported speech.

In general, the Future Simple Tense changes into would. And also the future Progressive Tense changes into “would be”. The Future Perfect Tense changes into “would have”. The Future Perfect Progressive Tense changes into “would have been”.

Ex: I will be attending the wedding.

She said that she would be attending the wedding.

4. Give examples for conversion of  ‘can ‘, ‘can’t’ and ‘will’,’’won’t’ 

5. Give some examples for reported requests and reported orders.  

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Learn English Grammar: INDIRECT SPEECH (REPORTED SPEECH)

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31 comments.

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I did it… Got a 100.

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Thanks Emma ! I got 10 correct out of 10.

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thank you Emma and andura its very interesting

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thank u so much for your clear explains

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many thanks. I got 9

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Thank you Emma and Audra!

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Thanks Emma :)

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Thanks a lot

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Thanks very much!

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Thank you, Emma, for teaching really clear.

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Thanks both of you Emma and Audra my grade is 100

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You made the lesson very clear teachers, Thank you!

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Thank you, Emma, for teaching

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Emma, thank you very much!

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80% so good

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Me too, for not pay attention at 6 question and at 07 I really was confused but after I understood.

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Question number six caused difficulties. Why are the following answers wrong: “They told that Emily couldn’t come tonight.” and “They said me that Emily couldn’t come tonight.”?

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First example: “They told that…” is wrong “told” should be followed with “me”. So it should be “They told me…” or “They told me that…”. See video at 5:50.

Second example: “They said me…” is wrong. After “said” there should be no word “me”. Correct: “They said…”

Recap: “They told me…” or “They told me that…” “They said…”

Sample: I am happy.

“They told me she was happy.” or “They told me that she was happy.” “They said she was happy.”

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Thanks! Now everything is clear :)

Thanks for such an interesting lesson.

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Thank you for this opportunity! I have to practice more

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I Got a 100

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I got 9 correct answers. Thank you

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I would like to thank you a lot, because I am learning from you a lot.

' src=

I didn’t do so well. 6/10

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Thank you very much Teacher Emma.

' src=

Thank You Emma, I was wrong using Reported Speech. Very helpful.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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Reported speech: indirect speech

Indirect speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words. In indirect speech , the structure of the reported clause depends on whether the speaker is reporting a statement, a question or a command.

Indirect speech: reporting statements

Indirect reports of statements consist of a reporting clause and a that -clause. We often omit that , especially in informal situations:

The pilot commented that the weather had been extremely bad as the plane came in to land. (The pilot’s words were: ‘The weather was extremely bad as the plane came in to land.’ )
I told my wife I didn’t want a party on my 50th birthday. ( that -clause without that ) (or I told my wife that I didn’t want a party on my 50th birthday .)

Indirect speech: reporting questions

Reporting yes-no questions and alternative questions.

Indirect reports of yes-no questions and questions with or consist of a reporting clause and a reported clause introduced by if or whether . If is more common than whether . The reported clause is in statement form (subject + verb), not question form:

She asked if [S] [V] I was Scottish. (original yes-no question: ‘Are you Scottish?’ )
The waiter asked whether [S] we [V] wanted a table near the window. (original yes-no question: ‘Do you want a table near the window? )
He asked me if [S] [V] I had come by train or by bus. (original alternative question: ‘Did you come by train or by bus?’ )

Questions: yes-no questions ( Are you feeling cold? )

Reporting wh -questions

Indirect reports of wh -questions consist of a reporting clause, and a reported clause beginning with a wh -word ( who, what, when, where, why, how ). We don’t use a question mark:

He asked me what I wanted.
Not: He asked me what I wanted?

The reported clause is in statement form (subject + verb), not question form:

She wanted to know who [S] we [V] had invited to the party.
Not: … who had we invited …

Who , whom and what

In indirect questions with who, whom and what , the wh- word may be the subject or the object of the reported clause:

I asked them who came to meet them at the airport. ( who is the subject of came ; original question: ‘Who came to meet you at the airport?’ )
He wondered what the repairs would cost. ( what is the object of cost ; original question: ‘What will the repairs cost?’ )
She asked us what [S] we [V] were doing . (original question: ‘What are you doing?’ )
Not: She asked us what were we doing?

When , where , why and how

We also use statement word order (subject + verb) with when , where, why and how :

I asked her when [S] it [V] had happened (original question: ‘When did it happen?’ ).
Not: I asked her when had it happened?
I asked her where [S] the bus station [V] was . (original question: ‘Where is the bus station?’ )
Not: I asked her where was the bus station?
The teacher asked them how [S] they [V] wanted to do the activity . (original question: ‘How do you want to do the activity?’ )
Not: The teacher asked them how did they want to do the activity?

Questions: wh- questions

Indirect speech: reporting commands

Indirect reports of commands consist of a reporting clause, and a reported clause beginning with a to -infinitive:

The General ordered the troops to advance . (original command: ‘Advance!’ )
The chairperson told him to sit down and to stop interrupting . (original command: ‘Sit down and stop interrupting!’ )

We also use a to -infinitive clause in indirect reports with other verbs that mean wanting or getting people to do something, for example, advise, encourage, warn :

They advised me to wait till the following day. (original statement: ‘You should wait till the following day.’ )
The guard warned us not to enter the area. (original statement: ‘You must not enter the area.’ )

Verbs followed by a to -infinitive

Indirect speech: present simple reporting verb

We can use the reporting verb in the present simple in indirect speech if the original words are still true or relevant at the time of reporting, or if the report is of something someone often says or repeats:

Sheila says they’re closing the motorway tomorrow for repairs.
Henry tells me he’s thinking of getting married next year.
Rupert says dogs shouldn’t be allowed on the beach. (Rupert probably often repeats this statement.)

Newspaper headlines

We often use the present simple in newspaper headlines. It makes the reported speech more dramatic:

JUDGE TELLS REPORTER TO LEAVE COURTROOM
PRIME MINISTER SAYS FAMILIES ARE TOP PRIORITY IN TAX REFORM

Present simple ( I work )

Reported speech

Reported speech: direct speech

Indirect speech: past continuous reporting verb

In indirect speech, we can use the past continuous form of the reporting verb (usually say or tell ). This happens mostly in conversation, when the speaker wants to focus on the content of the report, usually because it is interesting news or important information, or because it is a new topic in the conversation:

Rory was telling me the big cinema in James Street is going to close down. Is that true?
Alex was saying that book sales have gone up a lot this year thanks to the Internet.

‘Backshift’ refers to the changes we make to the original verbs in indirect speech because time has passed between the moment of speaking and the time of the report.

In these examples, the present ( am ) has become the past ( was ), the future ( will ) has become the future-in-the-past ( would ) and the past ( happened ) has become the past perfect ( had happened ). The tenses have ‘shifted’ or ‘moved back’ in time.

The past perfect does not shift back; it stays the same:

Modal verbs

Some, but not all, modal verbs ‘shift back’ in time and change in indirect speech.

We can use a perfect form with have + - ed form after modal verbs, especially where the report looks back to a hypothetical event in the past:

He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. (original statement: ‘The noise might be the postman delivering letters.’ )
He said he would have helped us if we’d needed a volunteer. (original statement: ‘I’ll help you if you need a volunteer’ or ‘I’d help you if you needed a volunteer.’ )

Used to and ought to do not change in indirect speech:

She said she used to live in Oxford. (original statement: ‘I used to live in Oxford.’ )
The guard warned us that we ought to leave immediately. (original statement: ‘You ought to leave immediately.’ )

No backshift

We don’t need to change the tense in indirect speech if what a person said is still true or relevant or has not happened yet. This often happens when someone talks about the future, or when someone uses the present simple, present continuous or present perfect in their original words:

He told me his brother works for an Italian company. (It is still true that his brother works for an Italian company.)
She said she ’s getting married next year. (For the speakers, the time at the moment of speaking is ‘this year’.)
He said he ’s finished painting the door. (He probably said it just a short time ago.)
She promised she ’ll help us. (The promise applies to the future.)

Indirect speech: changes to pronouns

Changes to personal pronouns in indirect reports depend on whether the person reporting the speech and the person(s) who said the original words are the same or different.

Indirect speech: changes to adverbs and demonstratives

We often change demonstratives ( this, that ) and adverbs of time and place ( now, here, today , etc.) because indirect speech happens at a later time than the original speech, and perhaps in a different place.

Typical changes to demonstratives, adverbs and adverbial expressions

Indirect speech: typical errors.

The word order in indirect reports of wh- questions is the same as statement word order (subject + verb), not question word order:

She always asks me where [S] [V] I am going .
Not: She always asks me where am I going .

We don’t use a question mark when reporting wh- questions:

I asked him what he was doing.
Not: I asked him what he was doing?

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Trump Says Some Migrants Are ‘Not People’ and Predicts a ‘Blood Bath’ if He Loses

In a caustic and discursive speech in Ohio, former President Donald J. Trump once again doubled down on a doomsday vision of the United States.

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Donald Trump, seen from behind and at a distance, speaks to a large crowd from behind a lectern.

By Anjali Huynh and Michael Gold

Anjali Huynh reported from Vandalia, Ohio, and Michael Gold from New York.

  • Published March 16, 2024 Updated March 18, 2024

Former President Donald J. Trump , at an event on Saturday ostensibly meant to boost his preferred candidate in Ohio’s Republican Senate primary race, gave a freewheeling speech in which he used dehumanizing language to describe immigrants, maintained a steady stream of insults and vulgarities and predicted that the United States would never have another election if he did not win in November.

With his general-election matchup against President Biden in clear view, Mr. Trump once more doubled down on the doomsday vision of the country that has animated his third presidential campaign and energized his base during the Republican primary.

The dark view resurfaced throughout his speech. While discussing the U.S. economy and its auto industry, Mr. Trump promised to place tariffs on cars manufactured abroad if he won in November. He added: “Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a blood bath for the whole — that’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a blood bath for the country.”

For nearly 90 minutes outside the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio, Mr. Trump delivered a discursive speech, replete with attacks and caustic rhetoric. He noted several times that he was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.

The former president opened his speech by praising the people serving sentences in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. Mr. Trump, who faces criminal charges tied to his efforts to overturn his election loss, called them “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots,” commended their spirit and vowed to help them if elected in November. He also repeated his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, which have been discredited by a mountain of evidence .

If he did not win this year’s presidential election, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t think you’re going to have another election, or certainly not an election that’s meaningful.”

Mr. Trump also stoked fears about the influx of migrants coming into the United States at the southern border. As he did during his successful campaign in 2016, Mr. Trump used incendiary and dehumanizing language to cast many migrants as threats to American citizens.

He asserted, without evidence, that other countries were emptying their prisons of “young people” and sending them across the border. “I don’t know if you call them ‘people,’ in some cases,” he said. “They’re not people, in my opinion.” He later referred to them as “animals.”

Border officials, including some who worked in the Trump administration, have said that most migrants who cross the border are members of vulnerable families fleeing violence and poverty, and available data does not support the idea that migrants are spurring increases in crime.

Mr. Trump mentioned Bernie Moreno, his preferred Senate candidate in Ohio and a former car dealer from Cleveland, only sparingly. Though he has Mr. Trump’s endorsement, Mr. Moreno, whose super PAC hosted Saturday’s event, has struggled to separate himself in a heated Republican primary contest to face Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, this fall. Mr. Trump was redirected from a planned trip to Arizona to appear with Mr. Moreno as a last-minute push.

Mr. Trump issued vulgar and derogatory remarks about a number of Democrats, including ones he often targets, like Mr. Biden and Fani Willis, the Atlanta prosecutor overseeing his criminal case in Georgia, as well as those widely viewed as prospective future presidential candidates, such as Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.

Mr. Trump called Mr. Biden a “stupid president” several times and at one point referred to him as a “dumb son of a — ” before trailing off. He also compared Ms. Willis’s first name to a vulgarity, called Mr. Newsom “Gavin New-scum” and took jabs at Mr. Pritzker’s physical appearance.

The Biden campaign issued a statement after the event claiming that Mr. Trump’s comments doubled “down on threats of political violence.”

“He wants another January 6, but the American people are going to give him another electoral defeat this November because they continue to reject his extremism, his affection for violence, and his thirst for revenge,” said James Singer, a spokesman for the Biden campaign.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, clarified that Mr. Trump was talking about the auto industry and the economy, not political violence, and wrote in a statement that “Crooked Joe Biden and his campaign are engaging in deceptively, out-of-context editing.”

Mr. Trump’s sharp words were not reserved for national politicians: He briefly took aim at one of Mr. Moreno’s primary opponents, Matt Dolan, a wealthy Ohio state senator who has been surging in recent polls. Returning to his prepared remarks, Mr. Trump said he did not know Mr. Dolan but depicted him as “trying to become the next Mitt Romney.”

“My attitude is anybody who changes the name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians should not be a senator,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the professional baseball team that Mr. Dolan’s family holds a majority stake in.

When Mr. Moreno was briefly called back onstage toward the end of Mr. Trump’s remarks, he praised the former president as a “good man.” But Mr. Moreno did not explicitly remind the crowd to support him in his Senate bid on Tuesday. Mr. Trump, for his part, said Mr. Moreno was a “fantastic guy.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign speeches generally swing between scripted remarks and seemingly off-the-cuff digressions. On Saturday, he acknowledged struggling to read the teleprompter as he tried to quote statistics on inflation.

“Everything is up: Chicken’s up, bread is up and I can’t read this damn teleprompter,” Mr. Trump said. “This sucker is moving around. It’s like reading a moving flag in a 35-mile-an-hour wind.”

Then, Mr. Trump, who before his presidency was known in New York for refusing to pay his bills to a wide range of service providers, joked about not paying the teleprompter company.

“Then they say Trump’s a bad guy, because I’ll say this: Don’t pay the teleprompter company,” he said as the crowd laughed. “Don’t pay.”

Anjali Huynh , a member of the 2023-24 Times Fellowship class based in New York, covers national politics, the 2024 presidential campaign and other elections. More about Anjali Huynh

Michael Gold is a political correspondent for The Times covering the campaigns of Donald J. Trump and other candidates in the 2024 presidential elections. More about Michael Gold

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Barack Obama and Bill Clinton will campaign alongside President Biden at a fund-raiser in New York , in an effort to amplify a message of Biden’s legislative achievements .

Trump Media, now publicly traded, could present new conflicts of interest  in a second Trump term.

Donald Trump cast Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  as a liberal democrat  in disguise  while also seeming to back the independent presidential candidate as a spoiler for the Biden campaign.

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Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s first lady, abruptly ended her bid for U.S. Senate, a campaign flop that reflected intense national frustration with politics as usual .

Kari Lake, a Trump acolyte running for Senate in Arizona, is struggling to walk away from the controversial positions  that have turned off independents and alienated establishment Republicans.

Ohio will almost certainly go for Trump this November. Senator Sherrod Brown, the last Democrat holding statewide office, will need to defy the gravity of the presidential contest  to win a fourth term.

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President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Washington. (AP)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Washington. (AP)

Ciara O'Rourke

If Your Time is short

President Joe Biden has a history of commuting by car and rail from his home in Delaware to Washington, D.C.

In comments following the disaster, Biden said he had been over the Francis Scott Key Bridge “many times commuting from the state of Delaware either on a train or by car.”

Learn more about PolitiFact’s fact-checking process and rating system.

President Joe Biden came under criticism following his remarks about the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

"#BREAKING," read a screenshot of an X post shared on Facebook on March 26. "Joe Biden says he’s commuted over the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore many times via train. The problem is that the bridge features no train tracks."

Some news coverage also focused on Biden’s comments about taking trains. And former President Donald Trump’s campaign cited it as evidence that "Biden (confused — again) claims to have gone over the Francis Scott Key Bridge by train ‘many times.’" 

Before it collapsed, the four-lane bridge spanned 1.6 miles — and, no, the bridge does not have train tracks.

But these social media posts did not present Biden’s full statement that allowed for some ambiguity; he mentioned commuting by car.

Here’s what he said March 26 at the White House:  "At about 1:30, a container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which I’ve been over many, many times commuting from the state of Delaware either on a train or by car."

The White House clarified Biden’s comments to the New York Post, which ran a story headlined: "Biden claims he commuted over collapsed Baltimore Key Bridge by train’ many times’ —  but it doesn’t have any rail lines."

"The President is clearly describing driving over the bridge while commuting between Delaware and (Washington) D.C. during his 36-year Senate career," the New York Post quoted White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson saying in a statement.

Biden has a long history of commuting to the capital. 

On the White House website , a section recounting the president’s history says that after he was sworn into the U.S. Senate, he "began commuting from Wilmington to Washington every day, first by car, and then by train, in order to be with his family. He would continue to do so throughout his time in the Senate."

In 2023, The Associated Press called him "arguably the nation’s biggest Amtrak fan." 

PBS NewsHour said in 2021 that, as a senator, Biden "was a fixture on Amtrak trains between his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., when the Senate was in session. He continued riding Amtrak as vice president. He has sometimes been referred to as ‘Amtrak Joe.’"

Our Sources

Facebook post , March 26, 2024

The White House, Joe Biden , visited March 27, 2024

The Associated Press, ‘Amtrak Joe’ Biden visits Delaware to promote $16 billion for passenger rail projects , Nov. 6, 2023

PBS NewsHours, WATCH: Biden celebrates Amtrak’s 50 years on the rails , April 30, 2021

The White House, Remarks by President Biden on the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge , March 26, 2024

The New York Post, Biden claims he commuted over collapsed Baltimore Key Bridge by train ‘many times’ – but it doesn’t have any rail lines , March 26, 2024

Read About Our Process

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More by ciara o'rourke.

reported speech with you

Joe Biden said he commuted by train and car as a senator, including over the Baltimore Key Bridge

reported speech with you

Morning Rundown: Dog and son save family from stabbing spree, Biden fundraiser pulls in $25M, lawmaker calls basketball teams 'illegal invaders'

Ohio mother who left toddler alone when she went on vacation is sentenced in child’s murder

An Ohio woman whose toddler died after she left her alone for more than a week while she went on vacation was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor said.

Kristel Candelario, 32, pleaded guilty last month t o aggravated murder and endangering children in connection with the death of her 16-month-old daughter, Jailyn, last year.

Candelario left for vacation June 6 and left Jailyn alone. She visited Detroit and Puerto Rico, the prosecutor’s office said.

When she returned on June 16, she found Jailyn dead and called police, authorities said.

Jailyn Calendario mom mother sentencing court legal law child death

Jailyn died of starvation and severe dehydration due to pediatric neglect, Dr. Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, said in court Monday. The manner was ruled homicide.

The child was extremely dehydrated and emaciated, weighing 13 pounds, 7 pounds less than in her last doctor's visit less than two months before, Mooney said.

Mooney, who conducted the autopsy, called Jailyn's death "one of the most tragic and unfortunate cases I’ve had in my career thus far." She said the child could have suffered for possibly a week.

In a statement Monday, prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley called Jailyn “a beautiful baby girl who was taken from this world due to her mother’s unimaginable selfishness.”

Candelario told the court Monday that “every day I ask forgiveness from God and from my daughter Jailyn.”

She also asked forgiveness from her other daughter and from her parents.

Jailyn Calendario.

Candelario’s attorney, Derek Smith, said that no one was trying to excuse her behavior but that Candelario was struggling emotionally and was overwhelmed as a single mother of two children.

Candelario had tried to harm herself earlier in 2023 and she had been placed on antidepressants, which she stopped taking without tapering down in dosage as required, which can cause side effects, Smith told the court. Candelario was "not thinking clearly," he said.

“I am not trying to justify my actions, but nobody knew how much I was suffering and what I was going through,” Candelario said through an interpreter.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia told the court Monday that Candelario had left Jailyn alone for two days immediately before she left on vacation.

"The thought of this child dying every day while she's having fun — humanity can't stomach that," Faraglia said. "And those are the actions that need to be punished. She abandoned her daughter and left her for dead."

In sentencing Candelario, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brendan Sheehan noted that the police and the medical professionals involved called it one of the most horrific cases they’d ever seen.

“It stunned people across this world, because it defies one of the basic human responsibilities,” Sheehan said. He called it “the ultimate act of betrayal.” 

reported speech with you

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech: questions

Reported speech: questions

Do you know how to report a question that somebody asked? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how we can tell someone what another person asked.

direct speech: 'Do you work from home?' he said. indirect speech: He asked me if I worked from home. direct speech: 'Who did you see?' she asked. indirect speech: She asked me who I'd seen. direct speech: 'Could you write that down for me?' she asked. indirect speech: She asked me to write it down.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 2: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech.

direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked. indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in sales.

In indirect speech, we change the question structure (e.g. Do you like ) to a statement structure (e.g. I like ).

We also often make changes to the tenses and other words in the same way as for reported statements (e.g. have done → had done , today → that day ). You can learn about these changes on the Reported speech 1 – statements page.

Yes / no questions

In yes / no questions, we use if or whether to report the question. If is more common.

'Are you going to the Helsinki conference?' He asked me if I was going to the Helsinki conference. 'Have you finished the project yet?' She asked us whether we'd finished the project yet.

Questions with a question word

In what , where , why , who , when or how questions, we use the question word to report the question.

'What time does the train leave?' He asked me what time the train left. 'Where did he go?' She asked where he went.

Reporting verbs

The most common reporting verb for questions is ask , but we can also use verbs like enquire , want to know or wonder .

'Did you bring your passports?' She wanted to know if they'd brought their passports. 'When could you get this done by?' He wondered when we could get it done by.

Offers, requests and suggestions

If the question is making an offer, request or suggestion, we can use a specific verb pattern instead, for example offer + infinitive, ask + infinitive or suggest + ing.

'Would you like me to help you?' He offered to help me. 'Can you hold this for me, please?' She asked me to hold it. 'Why don't we check with Joel?' She suggested checking with Joel.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 2: 2

Language level

She offered me to encourage studying English. She asked us if we could give her a hand.

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He said, "I wished she had gone."

How to change this sentence into indirect speech?

Hello bhutuljee,

'He said that he wished she had gone.'

Best wishes, Kirk LearnEnglish team

He said, "I wish she went."

How to change the above sentence into indirect speech?

Hi bhutuljee,

It would be: "He said that he wished she had gone."

LearnEnglish team

He said , "She wished John would succeed."

This is the third sentence you've asked us to transform in this way. While we try to offer as much help as we can, we are not a service for giving answers to questions which may be from tests or homework so we do limit these kinds of answers. Perhaps having read the information on the page above you can try to transform the sentence yourself and we will tell you if you have done it correctly or not.

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I hope my comment finds you well and fine. 1- reported question of "where did he go?"

Isn't it: She asked where he had gone?

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/grammar/b1-b2-grammar/reported-…

2- how can I report poilte questions with( can I, May I) For example: She asked me" Can I borrow some money?"

Your reply will be highly appreciated.

Hello alrufai,

1) The version of the sentence you suggest is also correct. In informal situations, we often don't change the past simple into the past perfect, but in formal situations we do so more often.

2) 'can', 'may' and 'might' all become 'could' in reported questions like these: 'She asked if she could borrow some money.'

I wonder if there are any occasions we can't use "Why" for reported speech? I'm not sure for this one. Thank you

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COMMENTS

  1. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is a term we use when telling someone what another person said. You can do this while speaking or writing. There are two kinds of reported speech you can use: direct speech and indirect speech. I'll break each down for you. A direct speech sentence mentions the exact words the other person said. For example:

  2. Reported Speech

    We can call this an 'order' in English, when someone tells you very directly to do something. For example: Direct speech: Sit down! In fact, we make this into reported speech in the same way as a request. We just use 'tell' instead of 'ask': Reported speech: She told me to sit down. Direct Order.

  3. Reported speech

    When we want to report what people say, we don't usually try to report their exact words. We usually give a summary, for example: Direct speech (exact words): Mary: Oh dear. We've been walking for hours! I'm exhausted. I don't think I can go any further. I really need to stop for a rest. Peter: Don't worry.

  4. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    Reported speech: He asked if he would see me later. In the direct speech example you can see the modal verb 'will' being used to ask a question. Notice how in reported speech the modal verb 'will' and the reporting verb 'ask' are both written in the past tense. So, 'will' becomes 'would' and 'ask' becomes 'asked'.

  5. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message. Q2.

  6. Reported speech

    Reported speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary

  7. Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

    She asked me to make a copy of the report. (reported speech) For reported orders, we use "told (someone) to do something:". "Go to the bank." (direct speech) "He told me to go to the bank." (reported speech) The main verb stays in the infinitive with "to": She asked me to make a copy of the report. She asked me make a copy of ...

  8. Reported speech: reporting verbs

    direct speech: 'You should come, it's going to be a lot of fun,' she said. indirect speech: She persuaded me to come. direct speech: 'Wait here,' he said. indirect speech: He told us to wait there. direct speech: 'It wasn't me who finished the coffee,' he said. indirect speech: He denied finishing the coffee. Try this exercise to test your grammar.

  9. Reported Speech

    If we report what another person has said, we usually do not use the speaker's exact words (direct speech), but reported (indirect) speech. Therefore, you need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request.

  10. What is Reported Speech and How to Use It? with Examples

    Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech.

  11. Reported speech: statements

    Look at these examples to see how we can tell someone what another person said. direct speech: 'I love the Toy Story films,' she said. indirect speech: She said she loved the Toy Story films. direct speech: 'I worked as a waiter before becoming a chef,' he said. indirect speech: He said he'd worked as a waiter before becoming a chef. direct speech: 'I'll phone you tomorrow,' he said.

  12. He Said, She Said: Mastering Reported Speech in English (Both ...

    Direct speech: "I don't want to enter the water, ever," she says. "If everyone's going in the ocean, I'm like, no.". Here, the speech is reported as though it's in the present tense ("she says") instead of in the past ("she said"). In writing of all kinds, direct reported speech is often split into two or more parts, as ...

  13. Reported speech

    Yes, there are lots of other reporting verbs like promise, remind, warn, advise, recommend, encourage which you can choose, depending on the situation. But say, tell and ask are the most common. Great. I understand! My teacher said reported speech was difficult. And I told you not to worry!

  14. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is called "indirect speech" by some people. Other people regard reported speech simply as one form of indirect speech. Other forms are, for example: questions-within-questions: Can you tell me if they are expensive? mental processes: He believes that politics is a dirty game.

  15. Indirect speech

    What is indirect speech or reported speech? When we tell people what another person said or thought, we often use reported speech or indirect speech. To do that, we need to change verb tenses (present, past, etc.) and pronouns (I, you, my, your, etc.) if the time and speaker are different.For example, present tenses become past, I becomes he or she, and my becomes his or her, etc.

  16. Grammar Lesson

    1. We use direct speech to quote a speaker's exact words. We put their words within quotation marks. We add a reporting verb such as "he said" or "she asked" before or after the quote. Example: He said, "I am happy." 2. Reported speech is a way of reporting what someone said without using quotation marks.

  17. Reported Speech

    We use reported speech when we say the words of other people. Reported speech is also called indirect speech. 4 important rules to remember when forming the...

  18. Can you use REPORTED SPEECH? Grammar Lesson + Examples

    This lesson is about reported speech in English - it will help you to tell, explain and say what someone else said & help you speak clearly and accurately in...

  19. Reported Speech

    To understand Reported Speech Grammar and Reported Verbs, you need to first understand reported speech rules and how it works. Here are some types of reported speech: Reported Statements. Reported speech is used when someone says a sentence, like, "I'm going to the movie tonight". Later, we want to tell a 3rd person what the first person is doing.

  20. Learn English Grammar: INDIRECT SPEECH (REPORTED SPEECH)

    Reported speech is when we say what someone else said. This is also called indirect speech. For example, Audra says, "I am Emma's sister.". When I tell other people what Audra said, I would say the following: "Audra said she was my sister.". We use reported speech with verbs like "said", "told", and "ask". We use reported ...

  21. Reported speech: indirect speech

    Reported speech: indirect speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary

  22. grammaticality

    You can also use would unchanged: "I would like to swim.". → "You Bi said she would like to swim.". Here, you can analyse would as conditional—if You Bi went swimming, she would like it. Would is also (morphologically) the past form of will, so it doesn't need to change tense for reported speech. Share.

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  30. Reported speech: questions

    A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech. direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked. indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in sales. In indirect speech, we change the question structure (e.g. Do you like) to a statement structure (e.g.